RENEWABLE ENERGY- In this lesson students will discuss and learn about the benefits of affordable and clean energy and the current lack of access on a global scale.


Prior Learning

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • The Sustainable Development Goals



Clean Energy- energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

Sustainability- the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

Circular Economy-  a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling.


  1. Understand the impact of little to no access to energy globally and how this negatively affects the standard of living for millions of people.

  2. Discuss the current impacts of pollutants and “unclean” energy to the earth and the societies that are most impacted by climate change.


Physical- Restless Atmosphere

Physical- Restless Atmosphere













1. What is sustainability?

It is the way for meeting human development goals while at the same time maintaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services on which the economy and society depend.


2. What are the targets?

  • By 2030, to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

  • to increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

  • to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

  • to enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

  • to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support


3. Why Goal 7?

Nearly 1.1 billion people had no access to electricity in 2014, and more than 3 billion had no access to clean fuels and technologies. Goal 7 recognizes that extending access to electricity and other forms of energy is fundamental to improving people’s lives and communities. It aims for efficiencies in energy use and the promotion of renewable sources to sustainably manage resources for development. Instances are easing daily life through access to energy, expanding access to electricity, converting to clean cooking fuels, measuring modern energy access in new ways, shifting to renewable energy and driving energy efficiency.


1. Switch off the light

Consider the figure stating that a light-bulb consumes 60 watts per hour. Count the numbers of light-bulbs you can find in your house. Calculate how many watts per hour your house consumes. Do you think you can improve this number? How?


2. Energy = wealth?

In 2014, around 15% of the world’s population had no access to electricity. Nearly half were in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, and nearly a third were rural dwellers in South Asia. In all, 86% of people without electricity lived in rural areas, where providing infrastructure is more challenging. The countries that pollute the most and that provide sustainable energy are ranked as richest countries in the world.

Does it mean energy access relies on countries’ wealth? On an A4 plain map of the world, color the wealthiest countries in red, poorest in blue. Comment.


3. Save the date

World Earth Day takes place on the 22nd of April every year. It is a chance for environmental issues to claim the global spotlight. For Earth Day 2017, a petition was launched about environmental and climate literacy. What will you do on the upcoming World Earth Day? How will you show your support and involvement? 

You can…

  • Hold an exhibition: thousands of pictures have been taken showing the global impact of our energy consumption on the planet

  • Put up an information stand about promoting renewable and sustainable energy, raising awareness on climate change

  • Put on a fundraising event to redistribute the funds to a charity working on sustainable and renewable energies

  • Launch a petition supporting what you believe in, what should be defended

  • Sign the Earth Day petition (http://www.earthday.org/ )


4. Act green!

In 2020 we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. You can act to make this anniversary special! An act of green shows your involvement and support to reach Goal 7 and raise awareness around you: friends and family need you to be conscious on climate change.

  • Plant a tree

    • Replace incandescent light bulbs, buy LED light bulbs: they use 75% less electricity

      • Always turn off the lights when you leave a room

        • Unplug chargers

      • Rather than using the car, walk or cycle

    • Take showers, not baths

  • Stop using disposable plastic


5. Take the quiz

Earth Day.org created a quiz to see the impact one has on the planet. It gives you an ecological footprint, a tool measuring how much biologically productive land and sea is used by a given person, comparing it to how much land and sea is available.

How is your ecological footprint? Make 5 concrete commitments to achieve before the end of the month.

Footprint Calculator


6. Eat your greens

20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the meat industry. Producing one calorie of meat requires nearly twenty times the amount of energy as one plant calorie. Nowadays, the meat industry emits over 36 billion tons of greenhouse gases per year. We need to eat less meat to reduce our impact on the planet. Why not go meatless a day a week?


7. Environmental quiz

  • How much is the world energy consumption expected to increase between 2008 and 2030?

From 2008 to 2030, world energy consumption is expected to increase more than 55%


  • What is the percentage of energy used unnecessarily in buildings?

30% of energy used in buildings is used inefficiently of unnecessarily


  • How many gallons of gasoline is burned every day?

793 million gallons of gasoline is burned every day.


  • Until when will oil and gas reserves last?

The world’s oil reserves will last until 2052 and gas reserves will last until 2065


  • How much energy does it take to Google something?

The energy it takes to conduct then searches on Google could power a 60-watt light bulb; the energy used by the search engine could power 200.000 homes.


8. Let’s have a look at your phone…

How much energy do you think your smartphone consumes? Try to estimate it. iPhone customer uses 1.58 GB of data a month on average, which is 19 GB per year. Each GB requires 19 kW. That means the average iPhone uses 361 kWh of electricity per year. Each connection is 23.4 kWh, bringing the total to 384.4 kWh. The electricity used annually to charge the iPhone is 3.5 kWh, raising the total to 388 kWh per year. Refrigerators use 322 kWh annually.


9. The Green Index

Timberland has created a Green Index to evaluate their production of footwear and clothing. It includes their climate impact, the chemicals used and their resource consumption, rated from 0 to 10. Create your own Green Index! What would you like to measure? Using which criteria?




Workshop created by Lisa Goursaud

Lisa is an International Peace Studies master student at Trinity College of Dublin. Her academic interests mainly focus on the Middle-Eastern region where she used to live, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

1. Which countries are polluting the most?

  • China: 10.35 billion tons of CO2 per year = 7.4 tons per inhabitant per year

  • USA: 5.30 billion tons of CO2 per year = 16.6 tons per inhabitant per year

  • India: 2 billion tons of CO2 per year = 1.7 tons per inhabitant per year

Although China has the highest rate of CO2 emissions per year, USA remains the most polluting country related to its population.


2. Which countries are the best providers of affordable and sustainable energy?

  • Switzerland: mix of energy supply, low-energy intensity, low emissions

  • Norway: energy access and security, large supply of natural resources

  • Sweden: highest shares of renewables in Europe, 50% of consumption from renewable energy

Although Sweden ranks 3rd on providing energy, it beats both Switzerland and Norway on environmental sustainability.


3. Some environmental facts to think about…

  • US burn nearly half of the world’s gasoline

  • Enough sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface each minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands for a year

  • If a person yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, he or she would produce enough energy to heat one cup of coffee


4. Check the interactive map of The Solutions Project to explore and see what a transition to clean energy would mean where you live…



5. Some great green inventions were made by teenagers!

  • Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad (16) found a catalyst which could turn waste plastic into biofuel

  • Four girls from Nigeria (14 & 15) created a renewable energy generator which could provide energy for six hours using 1 litre of urine

  • Aidan Dwyer (13) produced a solar tree design which generates up to 50% more power than an equivalent flat solar array

  • Elif Bilgin (16) managed to turn waste banana peel into non-decaying bioplastic through a self-developed chemical process

  • Eesha Khare (18) developed an energy storage device that can last for 100.000 charge cycles and fit within a cell phone battery

  • Deepika Kurup (14) invented a purification system powered by solar energy

What is your green invention? Explain what it would be and how it would look like to your peers!


UNICEF Ireland wants to support you to start a global movement for change beginning in our own communities. Stay connected online with other activists like you. 


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